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Richard W. Kessell, beloved husband, father and friend, passed away March 8, 2013. Richard, known as "Dick" to his family and friends, lived a long and fruitful life, full of laughter and joy. Dick had a great sense of humor and was loved and respected by all who knew him as a man of integrity, dedicated to his work, passionate for sports, and who loved his family.
Born April 3, 1931, in Oakland to Esther and Richard Kessell, he grew up in the Bay Area and graduated from San Leandro High School. He then attended University of California at Berkeley, graduating in 1953. While in college, he met his wife Doris and they were married on August 27, 1953. From 1954 to 1956 he served in the Army during which time the couple were stationed in Massachusetts and North Carolina. While in North Carolina, their first daughter, Linda, was born. Upon completion of his service, the Kessell's moved back to California where he was accepted into Boalt School of Law at Berkeley. Becoming a lawyer had been a childhood dream. During law school they welcomed the arrival of their second daughter, Susan.
After graduating, the family moved to Watsonville where Dick was employed by the firm of Wyckoff, Parker, Boyle, and Pope, eventually becoming a partner. A few years later, their third daughter, Connie was born. Along with his career at the law firm, Dick became active with the Watsonville Elks club, and was "exalted ruler" 1970-1971. He was also active in the Kiwanis Club and the Mason's of Watsonville. In 1973, Governor Reagan appointed him to the Santa Cruz Municipal Court. He served as judge for the Santa Cruz County Court system for 20 years, retiring as a Superior Court judge in 1993. Because he loved what he did, he continued to serve as a visiting judge throughout California for another 15 years.
Dick loved to hike, camp with his family, travel, and was an avid follower of Cal sports. The family spent a week every summer at Cal's alumni family camp, "Lair of the Bear". This became a family tradition for over 40 years. He loved this area and the life-long friends that he and Doris made.
He is survived by his wife Doris, their three daughters and their husbands, 7 grandchildren, 2 great grandchildren and his sister Viola and her husband Bill.
Dick will be greatly missed, but we know that he is with our Lord Jesus Christ and we will see him again someday. A memorial service will be held Sunday, March 24, at 4:00pm at the Corralitos Community Church, 26 Browns Valley Road in Corralitos.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to Corralitos Community Church, 26 Browns Valley Road, Watsonville CA 95076, or Teen Challenge Monterey Bay, 111 Railroad Ave. Watsonville CA 95076 or a charity of your choice.